Obama "Empowers" Castro Henchman on Human Trafficking

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Under a veil of secrecy, the Obama Administration acknowledged that it recently held "technical meetings" with the Cuban regime on human trafficking.

The meetings took place from February 1-4 in Miami, Florida.

Yet, the State Department didn't acknowledge the meetings until February 5 -- and perhaps wouldn't have done so if The Miami Herald hadn't been tipped off and revealed it.

Perhaps the secrecy was partly due to the unsavory characters being flown in for the meetings -- let alone their content.

The Cuban regime was represented by a nefarious henchman from Castro's Ministry of the Interior (MININT) -- Colonel Mario Mendez Mayedo.

The MININT is the organ of Castro's domestic state security and secret police apparatus. It's responsible for vigilance, espionage and political repression. It's akin to the Soviet KGB or East German Stasi.

Specifically, Col. Mendez Mayedo is the head of the MININT's Identification, Immigration and Foreigners department.

In this role, he is responsible for the national identity-card that keeps track of all Cubans, their whereabouts, networks and activities. He is also responsible for tracking the movement of all foreigners who visit Cuba.

(Isn't it curious how just two days before Obama's announcement on December 17th, 2014, the MININT announced a new system for Cubans who run "casa particulares" that immediately reports and identifies foreigners staying in their homes?)

The MININT spares no expense for the latest technology to monitor all Cubans, particularly their political activities. They also keep a watchful tab on every foreigner who visits the island. (Yes, even those who ingenuously believe they are not being watched.)

Col. Mendez Mayedo is also frequent traveler to Venezuela, where he oversaw the implementation of the passport and national-identity card system of the Chavez-Maduro regime for its domestic intelligence service (SEBIN).

Adding irony to insult is the fact that the Obama Administration would welcome this henchman to discuss "cooperation" in human trafficking.

Not only is the Castro regime one of the world's worst perpetrators of state-sponsored human trafficking, but the Obama Administration remains under Congressional scrutiny after a Reuters investigation last year revealed that human-rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions had not improved and Cuba did not deserve to be upgraded from a bottom Tier 3 ranking to Tier 2.

The reports indicated that senior Obama Administration officials pushed without legal merit and prevailed in upgrading Cuba -- as another concession to the Castro regime. This is one of the reasons why U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson's nomination for Ambassador to Mexico remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Finally, let's put this in perspective vis-à-vis President Obama's rhetoric that his policy aims to "support the Cuban people."

What message in being sent to the Cuban people, when the henchman responsible for tracking all of their movements and activities is now working in conjunction with the Obama Administration?

What message is being sent to Cuban-Americans who travel back to the island under the MININT's watchful eye?

What message is being sent to Cubans who run "casa particulares" and are required to immediately report to the MININT the names and passport information of every American who booked a room through Airbnb?

(Of course, those staying at Cuba's military-owned hotels are easily monitored.)

Not a good one -- by any stretch of the imagination.

It simply continues the Obama Administration's trend of talking about "empowering" the Cuban people, while truly "empowering" the Castro regime.